William J. ‘BZ’ Zauner, 91


William Joseph Zauner, 91, formerly of Brookfield, went to join his Father in Heaven on Friday, Oct. 4, 2013. He was born on June 19, 1922, to the late William K. and Theresa (nee: Andrietsch) Zauner in Milwaukee.

Bill served our country during World War II in the Army/Air Force. Bill enlisted on Aug. 12, 1942, at the age of 20. He was a radio operator/ navigator and waist gunner on a B-17 bomber. He was stationed with the 91st Bomber Group, 323 Squadron at Bassingbourne, England. He was honorably discharged with the rank of tech sergeant. Bill flew 35 bombing missions during the war and was awarded the following medals; Air Medal, Oak Leaf Cluster, the Distinguished Flying Cross and a second Oak Cluster. He was very proud of his military career and was an active member of the 8th Air Force Historical Society, Wisconsin Chapter. He thoroughly enjoyed spending time with his fellow veterans at quarterly meetings and enjoyed giving talks to students and helping at various Fly-ins in the area.


After returning from the war, Bill completed his business degree at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and married Andree Mitte in July of 1950. Bill worked for Edwards Motor Company as a car salesman, as Bill said, he was a “car nut.” He later changed careers and worked as an insurance underwriter for Prudential until his retirement. He received numerous awards and commendations as a regional sales representative.

Bill loved to play golf and that was often his weekend activity. He also enjoyed traveling and spending time with his family and friends.

On Sept. 6, 1983, Bill married Katherine “Katy” Bartkuhn (nee: Gerhardt).

Bill is survived by his wife, Katherine; children Paula (Don) Theisen, Meg Zauner, Kay Batzler, Laura Zauner, Ray (Pam) Zauner and Charlotte Nichols; and stepchildren Scott (Judy) Bartkuhn and Cindy (Dan) McGrath. Bill is further survived by grandchildren Megan Theisen, Harrison, Halley and Hillary Batzler, Aaron and Brooke Zauner, Dakotah and Dallas Nichols, Konrad, Kyle and Bennett Bartkuhn, and Christopher (Katie) Kelly and Becky McGrath; two great-grandchildren Kendal and Aubrie McGrath; sister Rose (Larry) Neuens; and nieces, nephews and friends. Preceded in death by a granddaughter Hannah Batzler, a sister Lillian and her husband Joseph Topor, brother Ralph Zauner, brother-inlaw/ best friend Larry Neuens and former wife Andree Zauner.

Visitation Saturday, Oct. 12 at Wisconsin Memorial Park — Family Center, 12875 W. Capitol Drive, Brookfield, from 1-2:45 p.m. Funeral service at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Paralyzed Veterans of America (www.pva.org), Samaritan’s Purse (www .samaritanspurse.org) or the Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org/sewi) in Bill’s name would be appreciated.

The family would like to thank the staff at Cedar Community for all their care and support shown to Bill and his family.